Oncology Rounds

The latest news and research on cancer care from the Oncology Roundtable.

ICYMI: A fight over the future of 340B and big strides in precision medicine

by Deirdre Saulet November 20, 2017

This can be the most wonderful—and most hectic—time of the year, so it's understandable if you've fallen behind in your inbox. To help you keep up, here are the biggest news stories for cancer programs from the past month.

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Medical marijuana: The oncology drug you’re not talking about, but should

By Deirdre Saulet and Kate Wister November 8, 2017

Today, more than half of U.S. states have legalized medical marijuana and eight states—along with Washington, D.C.—allow for recreational use. But at the national-level, marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug, severely limiting the research capabilities of scientists attempting to assess its health effects.

Many physicians are hesitant to discuss and/or recommend cannabis to their patients, not knowing how the legal landscape might change and not fully understanding its medical benefits and risks. Despite a paucity of research, more states continue to legalize medical marijuana and more cancer patients are using the drug to help manage their symptoms.

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Chemo cold caps: What you need to know

by Deirdre Saulet and Ashley Riley October 25, 2017

We've gotten an increasing number of questions about using cooling caps to reduce chemotherapy-related hair loss, which is estimated to impact nearly two-thirds of patients.

Although manual cold caps have been around for a while, machine cooling cap systems were only recently approved by the FDA. DigniCap Scalp Cooling System was the first to receive approval in 2015, followed by Paxman Scalp Cooling System in early 2017. However, the approved use of these systems had been limited to breast cancer patients—until now.

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UVA's 3 keys to building a top outpatient palliative care program

by Deirdre Saulet and Julia Venanzi October 12, 2017

This summer, we shared results from UVA's CARE Track program, a multi-year initiative to improve the quality of life for patients with advanced cancer. While that post focused on the reduced odds of ICU admissions for cancer patients at UVA, we received so much interest from organizations around the country that we had a follow-up conversation with Dr. Leslie Blackhall, the palliative care lead at UVA.

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The financial toxicity of cancer is harming patients. How can your program help?

by Deirdre Saulet and Soleil Shah September 28, 2017

More than a third of cancer patients with insurance spend more on out-of-pocket costs than they expect. This burden, increasingly referred to as the financial toxicity of cancer, negatively impacts patients' physical and social wellbeing. Keep reading for new research and our advice on how your cancer program can help.

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How cancer teams let down my friend—and what I hope they learn from it

Lindsay Conway September 13, 2017

I've spent much of the past decade working with cancer centers to improve the care experience for patients and families. Along the way, I've interviewed hundreds of patients, administrators, and physicians. So I thought I had heard it all.

Yet after watching a friend and colleague navigate breast cancer treatment last year, I was dismayed to see how her care missed the mark. My friend has spent her career studying the health care system. She is well-educated, has health insurance, and has an excellent prognosis. She is the kind of patient that cancer centers compete to attract. But she faced obstacles at every turn.

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How barbershops help NYU Langone boost cancer screening rates

by Deirdre Saulet and Ashley Riley August 30, 2017

Colorectal cancer screening rates are increasing and incidence is decreasing in the United States, which is certainly good news.

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Beyond 340B: The 5 other CMS proposals for 2018 that cancer programs need to know

by Deirdre Saulet and Kate Wister August 17, 2017

By now, you've likely heard about the significant 340B changes CMS called for in the 2018 HOPPS proposed rule released back in July—but that's not the only proposal that would impact cancer programs' payments. Keep reading for our non-340B-related takeaways on the proposed rule.

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